Bowing question

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Andy Mopley, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    I always thought that, where the same note is tied across a number of bars, then within one's capability you play as many bars as you can using either an up or down stroke. However, it appears that I may be mistaken - where for example, the score calls for crescendo, our section leader said to use an up and down motion per bar.
    Can I seek some clarification on this, please?

    Thank you very much.

    Attached Files:

  2. I don't know the tempo for that but typically you want to just maintain he note. Probably multiple bows and you usually want to stagger. This just means that not everyone changes bow at the same time to avoid the sound of a change being caught by the audience. Perhaps a up bow on the crescendo. That's fairly standard but who knows. I've seen people ask for weird bowings.
  3. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    That section is in 3/4 so if I understand correctly, leading into the crescendo, you should use up/down?

  4. Depends on what comes next, and the tempo. Just looking at that you'd do one bow per bar, or perhaps one for the first two bars. And yes, you'd stagger it so you don't change together (usually just make sure you don't match the person next to you).

    Like everything with bowing in orchestra, it depends on the context. It's not that there is a 'correct' bowing, it's that you have a task to do set by the score and the conductor, and you do that whatever way works for your section.
  5. Context also might mean what has gone before . This might determine how many bows and in which direction you start. Also, what dynamic does the crescendo lead to, etc,etc?

  6. Given just the information provided in the excerpt, unless this was at a very slow tempo, I can't imagine why anyone would change bows twice in each measure at a pianissimo dynamic. If the dymanic were fortissimo, perhaps I could see changing twice per measure.

    I would say take the first two measures in on a downbow, then change, taking the next two measures with the cresendo on an upbow, and make sure the moment of bow change was staggered.
  7. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Tempo permitting, you could do all 4 bars in one upbow and remain faithful to the marking in the score.